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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 The Roman Republic double click to changethis text! Drag a cornerto scale proportionally. The Roman Class Structure The Romans were divided into two classes called patricians and plebeians. Patricians were wealthy landowners. They made up Rome's ruling class. Plebeians were artisans, shopkeepers, and owners of small farms. Most of Rome's people were plebeians. Both class men were Roman citizens and had the right to vote,pay taxes, and serve in the army. However, plebeians had less social status and could not marry patricians and held public office. The Twelve Tables Plebeians claimed that patrician judges often favored their own class. They demanded that the laws be written for everyone to see. They had the laws carved on bronze tablets and placed in the marketplace, or Forum. The twelve tablets became the basis for all future Roman laws. The twelve tablets established the principle that all free citizens had the right to be treated equally by the legal system. Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus In 460 B.C., a powerful enemy surrounded Rome. Officials decided Rome needed a dictator and Cincinnatus was to do the job. Cincinnatus obedientlyleft his farm and gathered an army. He shortly defeated the enemy and returned to Rome in triumph. Since Cincinnatus did not want power, having done his duty, he returned to his farm and gave up his dictatorship. His loyal devotion greatly impressed the Roman historian, Livy.
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